Flight bags / security


OK I'm almost positive this has been asked... ran a search and couldn't find it so here goes:

What's the deal with getting your flight bag on an airline? It's probably got $1000 worth of stuff in there so there's no way I'm checking it; I'd rather leave it here than let it out of my sight
... any tips? Is it even worth the trouble?
I took my flight bag containing two headsets, a fuel tester with a screwdriver on the end, a clipboard, assorted charts, approach plates, and some flashlights through security at MSY two weeks ago. No problems whatsoever.
A rather timely question. I'm heading to my dad's new abode on Wednesday for Thanksgiving (Kona, Hawaii, baby!), planning on doing some flying there over the weekend and am taking just my headset. Can't really see taking the rest of my crap for a checkout and a VFR sightseeing flight. No need for approach plates, GPS, flashlight, kneeboard, foggles, E6B or any of that.
It seems to matter on the TSA's mood for the day. I went through a few different airports with my fuel tester w/ screw driver on the end and had no problems, but then going though MCO it suddenly became a 'weapon' and ended up in the trash w/ all the nail clippers. Since I've been working at EWR I've seen people come back with the large size mag lights to have them checked in after the TSA said they couldn't be a carry-on. One guy hadn't even taken his out that hard plastic container they sell it in.

With the TSA you never know.
Ha ha ha. I see you've met the TSA Gestapo at MCO. I have to deal with these clueless walkabouts daily. Anything metal that they don't recognize is a weapon.
I think it depends a lot on the airport. The heavily trafficed airports will probably be more stringent than New Orleans was with me. I doubt I could get through JFK, LAX, IAD, or MCO with a screwdriver on the end of my fuel tester. Hell, I made it through security at SAT with a pocket knife that I accidentally forgot was on my keychain last may. It was later confinscated during a random search at the boarding gate while I was getting on my connecting flight at JFK (much to the dismay of the JFK TSA employees). You probably don't have much to worry about at the smaller class C/D type airports.
True story, I swear. I was going through security at BOS after delivering an airplane to the northeast, had approach plates and a kneeboard in my briefcase. The TSA opened my briefcase, and had a lengthy group confab about my kneeboard. I swear they thought it was a weapon! I had to demonstrate exactly how it worked to convince them it was OK to carry on.

You just never know about those folks. Considering pilots come through all the time with Mag-Lites, headsets, and Jepp books, they ought to know that stuff is acceptable.

Maybe remove the items that might be considered "weapons" and put them in with your checked bags. Things such as your fuel strainer, maglite, kneeboard, or even E-6B might be good things to check, and you aren't checking any big ticket items that you would be devistated if you lost. You might want to leave your handheld GPS and/or NAV/COM behind if you have them, you shouldn't really need them anyway. I don't think the headset would be a problem. So I guess all that leaves is the headset, approach plates, charts, AFD, plotter and whatever else you might have. The good news is you have more room for luggage.
I'm worried about the same thing, and maybe someone can answer this. I'm flying JFK-FRA with my violin. Last time I had a heck of a time with Delta arguing that my violin will NOT be put in an unpressurized, non-temperature regulated cargo hold. They finally gave in before I started to make a scene...

I just remember such a problem when on tour in Russia with our cello section... they were mistakenly put in the wrong hold, and well, it was a very expensive mistake for the airline. Trapped air beneath the laquer within the wood that explosively exits on a big pressure change caused cracks and splits that, gosh, made for a very bad day.

Now I'm not worried about whether my violin is within standards for carry-on, but whether my bow will be allowed on. Its long, pointy at the end, but made of wood. No way in hell I'm entrusting that to the airline staff.
I think the big issue would be the fuel tester. I forgot about my pocketknife one time at IAD and they caught it. They were polite about it, but I was like, okay, I guess you guys are paying attention.

I think they might have a problem with the fuel tester if it's the kind with the screwdriver on the end. If it's just the one where it's got the little pin type thing and the plastic, you probably can get by, but why risk it? The other thing about that is that it will have avgas fumes and that might get detected by the explosives detector, so that could cause some problems as well.
Now that I think about it, I've NEVER had occasion to use the screwdriver on my fuel tester. Just take the bit out and leave it at home or stuff it in your bag. By itself, it probably won't be considered a potential weapon; stick it in the end of the fuel tester though, and it might be. Amazingly stupid, but I can see it happening.

On the e6b mentioned earlier, I had visions of someone crafting a ninja throwing star out of the rotating disc on the front.
I've carried my bag through MCO (Orlando) many times and never had a problem. I've had headsets, GATS fuel testers, flashlights, GPS, E6B, kneeboard, etc... Only once did they actually go through it and take a closer look. Once I explained I was a pilot they said "oh, OK....go ahead".

Then again these are the same idiots thay make me take off my belt and undo the button on my jeans because it sets of the "wand". You would swear they never saw a metal button on a pair of jeans before!
You would swear they never saw a metal button on a pair of jeans before!

[/ QUOTE ]And certainly never one used as a weapon! "No baby, the weapon's inside my jeans!"
I've traveled with my flight bag 3 times now, never a huge problem. Never even searched until the last time I flew with it, to ABQ about 3 weeks ago, I did my tailwheel endorsement while down there. It got run through the xray twice, then they still didn't like it so searched it. I guess my David Clarks were the offending item, as they were pulled out and run through a THIRD time in a tray. Everyone was looking at me like WTF are those?!?

Other'n that, no problems. I do go through beforehand and take out items that might become a potential confiscation: the fuel tester, my leatherman, my pliers.

In all honesty, the worst time I ever had was when carrying my Jepp IFR/Commercial text with me, as I was readying myself for my IR written...it was just before they stopped doing the random searches when boarding, and I got pulled aside. The TSA dude found GREAT interest in my Jepp book and had to have spent a good 60 seconds flipping through it slooooooowly. Weird deal.

The TSA dude found GREAT interest in my Jepp book and had to have spent a good 60 seconds flipping through it slooooooowly. Weird deal.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's not even that good of a book!